Today's Letters: Touch preserve, devalue our land

Published May 7, 2007

Re: For Brooker Creek, a map of change story, May 3

Understanding the situation surrounding the Brooker Creek Preserve is difficult and certainly not limited to a "small group" of environmental activists, especially when we know that more than 2, 000 people signed petitions in support of preserving the Brooker Creek Preserve.

How is it that Commissioner Susan Latvala calls this effort, along with the multitudes of letters to the St. Petersburg Times, a "small group"?

East Lake residents and all other residents bordering Brooker Creek Preserve, even those in Pasco and Hillsborough counties, should be very concerned about long-term loss of land value if development in the preserve occurs.

The preserve is one reason that many of us moved here and to lose any of it would make us, well, even more like Los Angeles. More people need to weigh in on the topic, keeping in mind the problems that further urbanization may bring.

Perhaps it would be better for East Lake to incorporate to safeguard the preserve from politics altogether. Losing preservation lands is not locally, nationally or globally responsible.

Barbara Walker, East Lake

Re: For Brooker Creek, a map of change story, May 3

Don't follow lead of commissioner

This has been Susan Latvala's agenda since she was elected to the County Commission.

This is not the only example of her machinations, just one of the more egregious. Remember the boat ramps/marina fiasco? The McMullen/Wall Springs property and across-the-street boat storage facility? Just two amongst many.

Then there's that "small group" of dedicated people known as the Friends of Brooker Creek Preserve who are united in their opposition to her machinations, despite the fact that she is on their board of directors!

Recall the "citizens can't use school athletic fields" rhetoric from her, a former member of the School Board.

You connect the dots, and then let's recall this cancer on the body politic.

Mike MacDonald, Clearwater

Re: Condo-hotel project a no go story, May 1

Boosting beach would help us all

"My ultimate hope is that they go back to the drawing board and eventually come to the city with a 100 percent hotel project - that would thrill me, " Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard said. "It's a wonderful site and we'd love to get some overnight accommodations there."

Brilliant idea! So my question to you, mayor, is why didn't the city pass a law or amendment stating that there has to be a certain number of hotels vs. condos on the beach? It's bad enough that the city has rid the beach of parking; now visitors have no place affordable to stay!

Now it's time to tighten the city's belt and control the budget better. How about not wasting the citizens' tax dollars on survey after survey, the roundabout fiasco, and reducing the city's revenue by pushing the everyday visitors off the "most beautiful beach" in the area and making the local businesses struggle to survive?

In your budget meeting on the local cable channel, Mayor Hibbard, you said you were open to suggestions. Here's a few:

1. A movie theater downtown (it worked in St. Petersburg).

2. Parking, parking, parking.

3. Clean up downtown (abandoned buildings).

4. More restaurants downtown.

5. Get Scientology to finish their "new" building (it's been two years).

6. Don't cut any police or fire personnel jobs (be proactive, don't wait for a Virginia Tech or Columbine to jump on the bandwagon to make the city safer).

7. Show pride in Clearwater.

8. Be accountable to the citizens who elected the City Council. (It will count when it's time to get re-elected.)

9. Use common sense when you are going to approve projects for the city. (Do we need it? Do the citizens want it? Will it make the city dollars?)

10. Eliminate wasteful spending and council pet projects.

To my fellow citizens of Clearwater, stand up and show you care by pressuring the City Council and city management to do the right things with our tax dollars.

John T. Weller, Clearwater

Pass law against dopey driving

Seems as though no one has noticed, but driving in Pinellas has been horrible lately and getting worse.

There are too many drivers trying to do three things at once. While multitasking is commendable, it is not a wise thing to do while driving. Too many people are reading books, finishing their toilette and talking on the phone while attempting to make a left turn.

We need a law, if folks can't wait to talk, that states no cell phone use while the vehicle is moving. At least pull over if it's so important, but please spare the folks who consider driving a full-attention duty.

Can't use good judgment? Pass a law.

Don Simcoe, Dunedin

Your voice counts

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